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The Lively Oracles Given to Us

or The Christian's Birth-Right and Duty, in the Custody and Use of the Holy Scripture

by

Rev. Richard Allestree

1619 - 1681, Author of the "Whole Duty of Man."

"The Lively Oracles" is sometimes attributed to Robert Boyle.

1832 Edition

HAIL & FIRE REPRINTS 2009

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The Lively Oracles Given to Us, or, The Christian's Birth-right and Duty, in the Custody and Use of the Holy Scripture," by Richard Allestree (1832 Edition)

THE PREFACE:

In the treatise of the Government of the Tongue published by me heretofore, I had occasion to take notice among the exorbitances of that unruly part, which sets on fire the whole course of nature, and itself is set on fire from hell1, of the impious vanity prevailing in this age, whereby men play with sacred things, and exercise their wit upon those Scriptures by which they shall be judged at the last day2.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE PREFACE ...

SECTION 1: The several methods of God's communicating the knowledge of himself ...

SECTION 2: The Divine Original, Endearments, and Authority of the Holy Scripture ...

SECTION 3: The Subject Matter treated of in the Holy Scripture is excellent, as is also its end and design ...

SECTION 4: The Custody of the Holy Scripture is a privilege and right of the Christian Church, and every member of it, which cannot, without impiety to God, and injustice unto it and them, be taken away or impeached ...

SECTION 5: The Scripture has great propriety and fitness toward the attainment of its excellent end ...

SECTION 6: The Suffrage of the primitive Christian Church, concerning the propriety and fitness which the Scripture has towards the attainment of its excellent end ...

SECTION 7: Historical Reflections upon the Events which have happened in the Church since the withdrawing of the Holy Scripture ...

SECTION 8: Necessary Cautions to be used in the Reading of the Holy Scripture ...

But that Holy Book, not only suffering by the petulancy of the tongue, but the malice of the heart, out of the abundance whereof the mouth speaks3, and also from that irreligion, prepossession, and supineness, which the pursuit of sensual pleasures certainly produces; the mischief is too much diffused and deeply rooted, to be controuled by a few casual reflections.

Click to Read Authority of the Scripture by William Tyndale - Hail and Fire - Doctrine

READ ONLINE: Certain Sermons or Homilies Appointed to Be Read in Churches in the Time of Queen Elizabeth of Famous Memory - Hail and Fire

OTHER SERMONS:

A Fruitful Exhortation to the Reading of Holy Scripture

QUOTE: "As many as be desirous to enter into the right and perfect way unto God must apply their minds to know holy Scripture; without the which they can neither sufficiently know God and his will, neither their office and duty. And, as drink is pleasant to them that be dry, and meat to them that be hungry, so is the reading, hearing, searching, and studying of holy Scripture to them that be desirous to know God or themselves, and to do his will."

REFERENCE SCRIPTURES
on the Bible:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:11

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11

I have therefore thought it necessary, both in regard of the dignity and importance of the subject, as also the prevalence of the opposition, to attempt a professed and particular vindication of the Holy Scriptures, by displaying their native excellence and beauty, and enforcing the veneration and obedience that is to be paid unto them.

This I designed to do in my usual method, by an address to the affections of the Reader; soliciting the several passions of love, hope, fear, shame, and sorrow, which either the majesty of God in his sublime being, his goodness derived to us, or our ingratitude returned to Him, could actuate in persons not utterly obdurate.

But whereas men, when they have learned to do amiss, quickly dispute and dictate; I found myself concerned to pass sometimes within the verge of controversy, and to discourse upon the principles of reason, and deductions from testimony, which in the most important transactions of human life are justly taken for evidence. In which whole performance I have studied to avoid the entanglements of sophistry, and the ambition of unintelligible quotations; and kept myself within the reach of the unlearned Christian Reader, to whose uses, my labours have been ever dedicated.

All that I require is, that men would bring as much readiness to entertain the Holy Scriptures, as they do to the reading profane authors; I am ashamed to say, as they do to the incentives of vice and folly, nay, to the libels and invectives that are levelled against the Scriptures.

If I obtain this, I will make no doubt that I shall gain a farther point; that from the perusal of my imperfect conceptions, the Reader will proceed to the study of the Scriptures themselves: there taste and see how gracious the Lord is4, and, as the Angel commanded Saint John, Eat the book5; where he will experimentally find the words of David verified, The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom to the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever; the judgments

FOOTNOTES:

1 James 3:6

2 John 12:48

3 Matthew 12:34

4 Psalm 34:8

5 Revelation 10:9

6 Psalm 19:7-11

7 Exodus 34:29

8 Matthew 17:1

9 1 Corinthians 13:12

10 Hebrews 4:12

11 Acts 19:19

12 Revelation 6:14

13 Revelation 20:12

14 Luke 16:31

of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is thy servant taught, and in keeping of them there is great reward6.

It is said of Moses, that, having received the law from God, and conversed with him in mount Sinai forty days together, his face shone, and had a brightness fixed upon it that dazzled the beholders7; a pledge and short essay not only of the appearance at mount Tabor, where at the Transfiguration he again was seen in glory8; but of that greater, and yet future change, when he shall see indeed his God face to face9, and share his glory unto all eternity. The same Divine Goodness gives still his law to every one of us. Let us receive it with due regard and veneration; converse with Him therein, instead of forty days, during our whole lives; and so anticipate and certainly assure our interest in that great Transfiguration, when all the faithful shall put off their mortal flesh, be trans lated from glory to glory, eternally behold their God, see Him as he is, and so enjoy Him.

Conversation has every where an assimilating power: we are generally such as are the men, and books, and business that we deal with: but surely no familiarity has so great an influence on life and manners, as when men hear God speaking to them in his Word: - that Word which the Apostle declares to be quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart10.

The time will come when all our books, however recommended for subtilty of discourse, exactness of method, variety of matter, or eloquence of language; when all our curious acts11, like those mentioned, shall be brought forth, and burnt before all men: when the great book of nature, and heaven itself shall depart, as a scroll rolled together12: at which important season it will be more to purpose, to have studied well, that is, transcribed in practice, this one Book, than to have run through all besides; for then the dead, small and great, shall stand before God, and the books shall be opened, and another book shall be opened, which is the book of life, and the dead shall be judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works13.

In vain shall men allege the want of due conviction, that they did not know how penal it would be to disregard the sanctions of God's law, which they would have had enforced by immediate miracle; the apparition of one sent from the other world, who might testify of the place of torment. This expectation the Scripture charges every where with the guilt of tempting God; and indeed it really involves this insolent proposal, that the Almighty should be obliged to break his own laws, that men might be prevailed with to keep his. But should he think fit to comply herein, the condescension would be as successless in the event, as it is unreasonable in the offer. Our Saviour assures, That they who hear not Moses and the Prophets, the instructions and commands laid down in Holy Scripture, would not be wrought upon by any other method - would not be persuaded, by that which they allow for irresistible conviction, though one rose again from the dead14. ...

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HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.

"The Holy scriptures ... are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" 2 Timothy 3:15-17
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